Rational suicide (including helium)

Helium is the most popular method of choice for those considering rational suicide. Distressing (or likely to be distressing) methods of suicide, such as hanging, shooting, wrist slashing, household chemicals, tend to be used by those who are not making well-considered decisions in the face of unbearable and unrelievable illness.

Rational suicide is not overly difficult. We would prefer that those can find value, quality and dignity in their life, no matter how severe the circumstances appear just now, seek support and help as soon as possible – after all, what have you got to lose? This site is aimed first and foremost to those who want rational insurance against an unknown future, and the ability to take matters into their own hands should they decide the time has come to end their days. Exit does not encourage anyone to end their life by suicide: but in the event that a person has made a conscious, competent, well-informed and persistent decision, free of influence from anyone else, and is so determined that nothing anyone else could say will make any difference: in such circumstances, we sincerely hope that such persons find a less painful, less undignified, less distressing means of consummating their final act.

Exit provides comprehensive information on methods of rational suicide but for reasons of common sense and the law we provide this in group workshops, in our graphic magazine for members (Exit Newsletter) and in our published book series, Five Last Acts; not on a one-to-one personal basis, over the phone, or by email. This website includes tips and additional information to assist persons with the information, complementing such information with the latest news and updates. It is not, however, intended as a complete guide in itself.

The main dignified and peaceful methods used by persons facing unbearable and unrelievable conditions are a) helium, b) compression of the arteries, c) sleeping tablets used with a hood, prescription and non-prescription medicines, and willed refusal of liquids and food. While all these methods are capable of producing a dignified death, some are harder than others. We recommend any responsible adult to consult either our comprehensive books on the subject or do research using other available materials.

Persons conducting more in-depth research into the methods might be interested in the larger of our larger textbooks, The Exit Path, which examines different approaches to the use of helium for rational suicide (self-deliverance).

Thousands of people draw strength just from our publications. They say that knowing how to take control gives them courage to face the future with its many unknowns. They will probably never have to take matters into their own hands but, as with insurance policies, it’s good to know you have some cover, something to help you make back-up plans, should the worst eventuality ever come to pass.

We are all going to die one day, and the fear of death or dying can haunt us in our later years. Knowledge is the best antidote to fear. It dispels the darkness of ignorance and puts us back in control – or at least restores more control than we had before in most cases. It gives us a choice. It can restore our courage. The will to live is so strong that in all but the most exceptional cases it will prevail until the end. But if you regard your life as special (as it is), if you are the sort of person who likes to be in charge of their own life, then the final segment should be one of your own choosing.

It is important to understand the realities. Various factors can mean a very undignified or painful death (whether naturally, in medical care or by one’s own hand) and other factors can mean a good, peaceful and fulfilling end to life – again, whether naturally, with the help of medicine, or even bringing it a little closer to a time and manner of one’s own choosing. A person’s death is not even limited to their own experience: as the crowning event of your life, it will live on in memory for those that you love. Making that memory one of conscious control and freedom from indignity and pain is an important consideration for many of us.

Knowing the ins and outs of using helium alone is not a complete solution. There may be circumstances that would make it impossible or very difficult. There are also important considerations about relationships, social practicalities and making the most of available medicine. Even with these covered, there may still be the psychological factors – fear of all “this” – one’s life, one’s consciousness – coming to a complete end. While most of Exit’s work, research and written material focuses on methods of rational suicide, these additional factors are not ignored.

We don’t recommend a ‘quick fix.’ We recommend choosing one of our publications and reading it several times to absorb it. By doing that today, you can insure for the future.

Helium is the most popular method of self-deliverance among members of right-to-die groups. But helium cannot be used, for instance, in a hospital or situations where other might interfere. Most of use do not know exactly what the future will bring. So we recommend you prepare for more than one ‘exit’ – depending on your freedom of movement, abilities to swallow, mental alertness, whether in a nursing home/hospital, and your overall physical state and support. Our ‘Five Last Acts’ gives you options from which you can be Free to Choose … and in doing so choose a PEACEFUL DIGNIFIED DEATH.


recommended books


Posters for download:

Exit main poster
Download this poster to display in your library, community centre, or citizens advice bureau.

Suicide and vulnerable persons
Download this poster to tell people about suicide prevention services (UK).

Tri-fold leaflet about Five Last Acts – The Exit Path
Free to download and print.

For more posters, scroll down to the bottom of the Home page

Please note: Exit works on a small budget. You might also consider a donation or bequest.

17 Responses to Rational suicide (including helium)

  1. Richard Queener says:

    I am 83 years old with several health issues, the exit bag seems the best alternative in my case.

    • Edward says:

      Just make sure you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the procedure, Richard. It is simple enough, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. I purchased the “Five Last Acts” book, so I am now confident about my ability to successfully complete two of the deliverance methods (Compression and Helium). I wish you all the very best, and always remember, it is YOUR life, so do not let anybody tell you how to live it or end it.

    • Ep248 says:

      I am very happy there are people out there really helping people

  2. Sam says:

    Thank you, for your support. The stigma that surrounds suicide is wrong and in no way helpful to those struggling with this difficult decision. Many people will commit suicide, but just like abortion, many will suffer until it is a legal procedure that can be done in a safe manner, without shame or embarrassment, by a medical professional .

  3. C says:

    I think the stigma around suicide, and at the fact that at various times it has been considered criminal or sinful, stems from the damage caused to loved ones by distressing methods. If this emotional damage were unneccessary – or at least, mitigated – by the availability of a genuinely peaceful and well-thought-out method, the concept of rational suicide might be better accepted and the use of distressing methods would shrink to those who either were sadly not rational at the time, or in some way vengeful towards themselves or others.

  4. C says:

    And yes, like Sam, I think that the argument is similar to abortion – both are uncomfortable decisions that must never be taken lightly; but in a civilised free society we must also have the right to informed choice. Unlike Sam, I think that the involvement of medical professionals on a large scale (ie, government regulated) basis is ultimately likely to result in less choice, rather than more through the emergence of societal/economic pressure to end “unproductive” lives. Better to have a legal, available method that the majority of those who wish it – other than the most ill or disabled, who will of course require assistance – can do for themselves.

  5. Gary says:

    Yes, I agree with you. I am fifty eight and have numerous health, financial problems etc. I saw both my parents have lingering deaths in old age I hope that I do not exit the world in the same way!

  6. Jon Vincent says:

    We are humane with our sick and elderly animals and can chose to put them out of their misery. Why can’t we be as humane with people? I suppose as long as the religious zealots believe in the myth that is religion it will never happen. A crime really.

  7. Gary says:

    I absolutely agree with you. Religion (all this nonsense) continues to be so harmful in this day and age. It would be rational and humane to stop people suffering in the way that sick animals are helped out of their misery.

  8. There is no way if I was an animal I would be continuing to suffer on as I am I would at least appreciate to have the availability of this option of a good death it would give me comfort and may even help me just knowing it was a possibility if things were either not to improve or get any worse i do not wish to become or remain as vulnerable as I am and reliant on others to survive it is not a life sadly I wrote my thesis on euthanasia many years ago never expecting in my thirties I would be wishing for it to be legalised but I now believe it should be

  9. Teena Swinburne says:

    Dignity, peace, calmness, level headed decisions and choice in the face of adversity. Why are all these things denied to us?

  10. Jon Vincent says:

    I can’t imagine having a life threatening illness so young. But, like you, I believe that death with dignity should be OUR choice and not be banned because of a bunch of religious zealots. Our beloved animals don’t have to suffer, why should we. Too barbaric!

  11. chuck says:

    I had a beautiful dear friend who died peacefully with prescribed morphine and guidance from hospice. I hadn’t realized it but maybe this is a viable option for the terminally ill.

  12. Maarten Pennink says:

    Very well phrased. The notion that one can dispel or at least push back the sense of fear, so prevalent in our society is encouraging. Also, the public acknowledgement that it is “my” body and therefore, one needs to make the final decision if at all possible an essential part of the end phase.
    All of us need to focus on life in a productive sense – that’s the life worth living. When that fades away it may well be time to recognize: “When the party is over, the party is over!”
    It is difficult imagining that the members of one’s family and friends want to remember one for the months and even years in a debilitating state. The threshold should be crossed gracefully and thoughtfully speedy.

  13. Dee says:

    reading this, and all the following comments; i suddenly feel at home. I am looking forward to learning.

  14. Andromeda says:

    Seems strange that sick animals are helped off the planet by vets, but we aren’t allowed to end our miserable existences because of the viral mental conditions of religion and those who want to control us.

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